SCOTTSBLUFF — The final plan is in place for the 18th Street Plaza in Scottsbluff.

The final plan comes in at $273,275, a steep drop-off from the original plan for the project in the neighborhood of $1 million.

“What I’m understanding is that this plan that you see here, as opposed to maybe the initial Rolls Royce-type plan that we had a couple years ago, this is the daily driver,” Angela Kembel told the Scottsbluff City Council Monday night as she represented the Business Improvement District. “This is the one that gets us to a very usable plaza for the types of events that you’ve been seeing. While there could be more development at a later time in certain areas, this, for me as someone who has run the farmers market, who has helped out with Bands on Broadway and other events in the space, this really looks to meet a lot of needs extremely well.”

Kembel said activities in the project are encouraging, and she looks forward to the final work set to be done this fall.

“Seeing some movement in the plaza is going to continue to inspire community faith and excitement in what’s happening as well,” she said. “I’m getting a lot of positive feedback on plaza events in general.”

Extended grass areas, moving a fence, adding some electrical outlets and evening out the hard surfaces in the park are on tap as well as finishing a half-moon walkway area around a plot where a community Christmas tree will be planted. Fundraising outside of the city budget is being used for the Christmas tree project. The existing skating rink in the northeast corner will remain, and a stage area in the southeast corner is planned. Existing landscaping will also remain in the plaza.

Scottsbluff Economic Development Director Starr Lehl said the city staff believes the final plan will make effective use of the plaza.

“With the events that we’ve had this summer, we feel that this is going to be a really good concept,” she said.

Lehl said the electrical work will allow food vendors for events to operate without using noisy generators. She added that an option for the future may be to rent the space to families or businesses as a picnic space for events.

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Mark McCarthy is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9049 or via email at

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